Amid increasing pressure from the LGBT community to include more diversity in film and television, the children's TV network Nickelodeon this week introduced a bi-racial gay couple on the animated show "The Loud House."
Variety reports that the series, which premiered in May and centers around the life of Lincoln Loud and his ten sisters, is the first Nickelodeon show in history to feature an interracial, married same-sex couple. The cartoon couple, Harold and Howard McBride, are voiced by comedian Wayne Brady and actor Michael McDonald and are the parents of one of Loud's friends, Clyde McBride.
In the scene, which aired Wednesday evening, Clyde rings the doorbell. When Loud answers the door, he greets them by saying, "Hey, Clyde. Hi, Mr. McBride. Hi, Mr. McBride."
The Christian Post notes that Howard, who is tall and white, is portrayed as being effeminate, while Harold, who is short and black, is portrayed as being more emotionally stable.
While the decision to include a homosexual couple in a children's show has been met with praise by many in the secular media, it didn't sit well with a number of conservative groups, including One Million Moms.
"Unfortunately, children are now being exposed to same-sex marriage on a network that is designed for kids," the group wrote. "Just because something may be legal or because some are choosing a lifestyle doesn't make it morally correct."
OMM also contended that families who are watching the shows on the said network may encounter a discussion about sexual orientation that is too early for the children.
"Conservative families need to urge Nickelodeon to avoid controversial topics that children are far too young to comprehend. This is the last place a parent would expect their children to be confronted with topics that are too difficult for them to understand. Mature issues of this nature are being introduced too early and too soon, and it is extremely unnecessary."
This is not the first time Nickelodeon has introduced gay characters, as noted by The Guardian.
In 2014, Nickelodeon paired Korra with her best friend Asami on The Legend of Korra, and showed the characters sharing a kiss in its two-part series finale. A year later, the network also showed another gay character, RuPearl, a snail drag queen, in an episode of Bubble Guppies.
The push for more diversity in children's entertainment has extended to film as well: in May, fans of Marvel films used the online hashtag "Give Captain America A Boyfriend" to call for a same sex relationship between the hero and Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier.
Other fans for Disney's animated film "Frozen" also started the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend to urge Disney to make the princess character a lesbian in the upcoming sequel, which is geared toward children.
At the time, Franklin Graham accused the LGBT community of attempting to get their "morally bankrupt" message to young children and influence their lives as the U.S. sinks "deeper into secularism."
"What happens when you remove biblical standards and leadership from a country? Moral bankruptcy, that's what," he wrote on Facebook. "As our culture abandons its once cherished Judeo-Christian foundation and values, godly traditions disappear and we sink deeper into secularism."